Notice of Availability of the Miles City Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Miles City Field Office, Montana, 30705-30707 [2015-12997]

Download as PDF Lhorne on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 103 / Friday, May 29, 2015 / Notices Copies of the Wyoming Greater SageGrouse Proposed LUPA/Final EIS are available for public inspection at: • BLM Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009 • BLM Casper Field Office, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, Wyoming 82604 • BLM Kemmerer Field Office, 312 Highway 189 North, Kemmerer, Wyoming 83101 • BLM Newcastle Field Office, 1101 Washington Boulevard, Newcastle, Wyoming 82701 • BLM Pinedale Field Office, 1625 West Pine Street, Pinedale, Wyoming 82941 • BLM Rawlins Field Office, 1300 North Third, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301 • BLM Rock Springs Field Office, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901 • Bridger-Teton National Forest, 340 North Cache, Jackson, Wyoming 83001 • Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, Wyoming 82070 Copies of the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Proposed LUPA/ Final EIS are available for public inspection at: • BLM Northwest District Office, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, Colorado, 81506 • BLM Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, Colorado, 80215 • Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, 2468 Jackson Street, Laramie, Wyoming 82070 Copies of the Lewistown Greater SageGrouse Proposed LUPA/Final EIS are available for public inspection at: • BLM Montana/Dakotas State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana, 59101 • BLM Lewistown Field Office, 920 Northeast Main, Lewistown, Montana 59457 Copies of the North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse Proposed LUPA/Final EIS are available for public inspection at: • BLM Montana/Dakotas State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana, 59101 • BLM North Dakota Field Office, 99 23rd Avenue East, Suite A, Dickinson, North Dakota, 58601 Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the BLM regarding the Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs may be found in the ‘‘Dear Reader’’ Letter of the Proposed LUPAs/Final EISs and at 43 CFR 1610.5–2. All protests must be in VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:17 May 28, 2015 Jkt 235001 writing and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES section above. Emailed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either regular mail or overnight delivery postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under these conditions, the BLM and Forest Service will consider an emailed protest as an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to provide the BLM and Forest Service with such advance notifications, please direct emails to protest@blm.gov. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware that your entire protest—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your protest to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Amy Lueders, Acting Assistant Director, Renewable Resources & Planning. Authority: 36 CFR 219.59, 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2; 43 CFR 1610.5 [FR Doc. 2015–12950 Filed 5–28–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–22–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMTC00000.L16100000.DQ0000. LXSS036E0000 MO#4500079298] Notice of Availability of the Miles City Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Miles City Field Office, Montana Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Miles City Field Office planning area and by this notice is announcing its availability. DATES: BLM planning regulations state that any person who meets the conditions as described in the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30705 regulations may protest the BLM’s Proposed RMP/Final EIS. A person who meets the conditions and files a protest must file the protest within 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Miles City Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS have been sent to affected Federal, State, and local government agencies, tribal governments, and to other stakeholders and members of the public who have requested copies. Copies of the Proposed RMP/Final EIS are available for public inspection at the following locations: • BLM, Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101 • BLM, Miles City Field Office, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, MT 59301 Interested persons may also review the Proposed RMP/Final EIS on the Internet at: http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/ en/fo/miles_city_field_office/rmp.html. All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following addresses: Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024– 1383. Overnight Delivery: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, 20 M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Bloom, Miles City RMP Team Leader, telephone: 406–233–2800; address: 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, MT 59301; email: mbloom@ blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The planning area includes lands within the BLM Miles City Field Office’s administrative boundaries in the following Montana counties: Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sheridan, Treasure, Wibaux and portions of Big Horn and Valley. The planning area includes all lands, regardless of jurisdiction, totaling approximately 25.8 million acres; however, the BLM will only make decisions on lands that fall under the E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1 Lhorne on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 30706 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 103 / Friday, May 29, 2015 / Notices BLM’s jurisdiction. Lands within the Planning Area under the BLM’s jurisdiction make up the Decision Area. The Decision Area consists of BLMadministered surface, totaling approximately 2.75 million acres and the Federal mineral estate, totaling approximately 10.6 million acres. The Miles City Field Office RMP will revise and replace the Big Dry (1996) and Powder River (1985) RMPs. The Miles City Draft RMP/EIS was made available for a 90-day comment period on March 8, 2013 (78 FR 15041). The Draft RMP/ EIS included a series of management actions, within five management alternatives, designed to address management challenges and issues raised during scoping. These included, but were not limited to, energy development (coal, oil and gas, renewable energy, and locatable minerals), wildlife habitat management, including Greater Sage-Grouse, livestock grazing, air quality, special management areas including areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC), and management of lands with wilderness characteristics. In accordance with 43 CFR 1610.7–2(b), the Notice of Availability for the Draft RMP/EIS also announced a concurrent public comment period on nominated ACECs. Comments on the Draft RMP/EIS were considered and incorporated as appropriate into the Proposed RMP/ Final EIS, which analyzes five alternatives: 1. Alternative A (No Action): Continues existing management; 2. Alternative B: Emphasizes conservation of natural and cultural resources while providing for compatible development and use; 3. Alternative C: Provides development opportunities while protecting sensitive resources; 4. Alternative D: Emphasizes resource development and use while protecting natural and cultural resources; and 5. Alternative E (Proposed): Allows resource use if the activity can be conducted in a manner that conserves physical, biological, heritage and visual resources. As modified, Alternative E is now presented as the Miles City Proposed RMP in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS would provide comprehensive, long-range decisions for the use and management of resources in the planning area administered by the BLM and focus on the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. Alternative E generally allows resource use if the activity can be conducted in a manner that conserves physical, biological, heritage and visual resources. Alternative E allocates land VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:17 May 28, 2015 Jkt 235001 as Special Recreation Management Areas (eight) and ACECs (eighteen) and emphasizes moderate constraints on resource uses to reduce impacts to resource values. Additionally, Alternative E applies a no surface occupancy (NSO) stipulation to oil and gas leasing proposed in riparian/ wetland systems and aquatic habitats and a controlled surface use (CSU) stipulation within 300 feet of riparian and wetland areas. Alternative E increases, over existing management, conservation within Greater SageGrouse habitats. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS, Alternative E, includes ACEC designation for the following areas (all resource use limitations are subject to valid existing rights): • Ash Creek Divide (7,921 acres), Bug Creek (3,837 acres), Hell Creek (19,373 acres), and Sand Arroyo (9,052 acres) ACECs would continue to be designated and managed as ACECs. Management actions proposed for these significant paleontological areas are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, rights-of-way (ROWs) would be allowed in the Hell Creek ACEC and avoided in the Ash Creek Divide, Bug Creek and Sand Arroyo ACECs, geothermal leasing would be closed, and management would be per visual resource management (VRM) Classes II through III. • Big Sheep Mountain ACEC (363 acres) would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, geothermal leasing would be closed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, livestock grazing would be allowed, and management would be per VRM Class II. • Hoe ACEC (145 acres) would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be closed, 19 acres of the ACEC would be closed to livestock grazing, and management would be per VRM Class II. PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Jordan Bison Kill ACEC (160 acres) would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be closed, and management would be per VRM Class II. • Powder River Depot ACEC (1,401 acres) would continue to be managed and designated as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be closed, livestock grazing would be excluded on 19 acres of the ACEC, and management would be per VRM Class I (Terry Badlands WSA overlap) and II (remainder of the ACEC). • Seline ACEC (80 acres) would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be closed, and management would be per VRM Class II. • Battle Butte Battlefield ACEC would increase in size from 121 acres to 320 acres and continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, ROWs would be excluded, and management would be per VRM Class II. • Reynolds Battlefield ACEC would increase in size from 324 acres to 922 acres and would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, and management would be per VRM Class II. E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1 Lhorne on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 103 / Friday, May 29, 2015 / Notices • Finger Buttes ACEC (1,520 acres) would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant scenic area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be closed, and management would be per VRM Class II. • Smoky Butte ACEC would decrease in size from 80 to 40 acres and would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant geologic area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would be allowed, OHV use would be limited to existing roads and trails, ROWs would be allowed, and management would be per VRM Class III. • Cedar Creek Battlefield (1,022 public surface acres) would be designated an ACEC. This significant battlefield would be managed to enhance and protect cultural resources. Management actions proposed for this area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with a NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would be not be allowed, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use would be limited to existing roads and trails, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, and management would be per VRM Class II. • Flat Creek (339 acres) would be designated an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant paleontological area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, and the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area. Flat Creek would be managed per VRM Class III. • Powderville (9,518 acres) would be designated an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant paleontological area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, OHV use would be limited to existing roads and trails, and the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area. The Powderville area would be managed per VRM Classes II and III. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:17 May 28, 2015 Jkt 235001 • Long Medicine Wheel (179 acres) would be designated an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, ROWs would be excluded, and management would be per VRM Class II. • The Walstein area (1,519 acres) would be designated an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural and paleontological area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, OHV use would be closed, the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, and management would be per VRM Class II. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS does not adopt the following nominated ACECs: Black-footed Ferret, Howrey Island, Piping Plover and Yonkee. The Miles City Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS is one of a total of 15 separate EISs that make up the BLM and Forest Service National Greater SageGrouse Planning Strategy. Greater-Sage Grouse habitat within the planning area consists of: • Priority Habitat Management Area (PHMA)—Areas identified as having the highest conservation value for maintaining sustainable greater sagegrouse populations; include breeding, late brood-rearing, and winter concentration areas. • General Habitat Management Area (GHMA)—Areas of seasonal or yearround habitat outside of PHMA. Alternative E supports management of greater sage-grouse seasonal habitats and maintaining habitat connectivity to achieve population objectives. Alternative E would limit or eliminate new surface disturbance in PHMA, while minimizing disturbance in GHMA. The BLM and Forest Service, via the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Management Zone Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Team, will develop a Regional Mitigation Strategy to guide the application of the mitigation hierarchy to address impacts within that Zone. The Regional Mitigation Strategy should consider any State-level greater sage-grouse mitigation guidance that is consistent with the requirements. The Regional Mitigation Strategy will be developed in a transparent manner, based on the best science available and standardized metrics. Instructions for filing a protest with the Director of the PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30707 BLM regarding the Proposed RMP/Final EIS may be found in the ‘‘Dear Reader’’ letter of the Miles City Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS and at 43 CFR 1610.5–2. All protests must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES section above. Emailed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either regular or overnight mail postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the emailed protest as an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to provide the BLM with such advance notification, please direct emails to protest@blm.gov. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware that your entire protest—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your protest to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2, 43 CFR 1610.5. Jamie E. Connell, State Director, Montana/Dakotas. [FR Doc. 2015–12997 Filed 5–28–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–DN–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLMTC040000.L16100000.DP0000. LXSS059E0000 MO# 4500079352] Notice of Availability of the South Dakota Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, South Dakota Field Office, Montana Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the South Dakota Field Office and by this notice is announcing its availability. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29MYN1.SGM 29MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 103 (Friday, May 29, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30705-30707]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-12997]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLMTC00000.L16100000.DQ0000.LXSS036E0000 MO#4500079298]


Notice of Availability of the Miles City Field Office Proposed 
Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement, 
Miles City Field Office, Montana

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA), as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has 
prepared a Proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Miles City Field Office 
planning area and by this notice is announcing its availability.

DATES: BLM planning regulations state that any person who meets the 
conditions as described in the regulations may protest the BLM's 
Proposed RMP/Final EIS. A person who meets the conditions and files a 
protest must file the protest within 30 days of the date that the 
Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability in 
the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Miles City Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS 
have been sent to affected Federal, State, and local government 
agencies, tribal governments, and to other stakeholders and members of 
the public who have requested copies. Copies of the Proposed RMP/Final 
EIS are available for public inspection at the following locations:

 BLM, Montana State Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 
59101
 BLM, Miles City Field Office, 111 Garryowen Road, Miles City, 
MT 59301

    Interested persons may also review the Proposed RMP/Final EIS on 
the Internet at: http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/miles_city_field_office/rmp.html.
    All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following 
addresses:

Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, P.O. 
Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383.
Overnight Delivery: BLM Director (210), Attention: Protest Coordinator, 
20 M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Bloom, Miles City RMP Team 
Leader, telephone: 406-233-2800; address: 111 Garryowen Road, Miles 
City, MT 59301; email: mbloom@blm.gov. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above 
individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours 
a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above 
individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The planning area includes lands within the 
BLM Miles City Field Office's administrative boundaries in the 
following Montana counties: Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, 
Garfield, McCone, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, 
Sheridan, Treasure, Wibaux and portions of Big Horn and Valley. The 
planning area includes all lands, regardless of jurisdiction, totaling 
approximately 25.8 million acres; however, the BLM will only make 
decisions on lands that fall under the

[[Page 30706]]

BLM's jurisdiction. Lands within the Planning Area under the BLM's 
jurisdiction make up the Decision Area. The Decision Area consists of 
BLM-administered surface, totaling approximately 2.75 million acres and 
the Federal mineral estate, totaling approximately 10.6 million acres. 
The Miles City Field Office RMP will revise and replace the Big Dry 
(1996) and Powder River (1985) RMPs. The Miles City Draft RMP/EIS was 
made available for a 90-day comment period on March 8, 2013 (78 FR 
15041). The Draft RMP/EIS included a series of management actions, 
within five management alternatives, designed to address management 
challenges and issues raised during scoping. These included, but were 
not limited to, energy development (coal, oil and gas, renewable 
energy, and locatable minerals), wildlife habitat management, including 
Greater Sage-Grouse, livestock grazing, air quality, special management 
areas including areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC), and 
management of lands with wilderness characteristics. In accordance with 
43 CFR 1610.7-2(b), the Notice of Availability for the Draft RMP/EIS 
also announced a concurrent public comment period on nominated ACECs.
    Comments on the Draft RMP/EIS were considered and incorporated as 
appropriate into the Proposed RMP/Final EIS, which analyzes five 
alternatives:
    1. Alternative A (No Action): Continues existing management;
    2. Alternative B: Emphasizes conservation of natural and cultural 
resources while providing for compatible development and use;
    3. Alternative C: Provides development opportunities while 
protecting sensitive resources;
    4. Alternative D: Emphasizes resource development and use while 
protecting natural and cultural resources; and
    5. Alternative E (Proposed): Allows resource use if the activity 
can be conducted in a manner that conserves physical, biological, 
heritage and visual resources.
    As modified, Alternative E is now presented as the Miles City 
Proposed RMP in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS. The Proposed RMP/Final EIS 
would provide comprehensive, long-range decisions for the use and 
management of resources in the planning area administered by the BLM 
and focus on the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. 
Alternative E generally allows resource use if the activity can be 
conducted in a manner that conserves physical, biological, heritage and 
visual resources. Alternative E allocates land as Special Recreation 
Management Areas (eight) and ACECs (eighteen) and emphasizes moderate 
constraints on resource uses to reduce impacts to resource values. 
Additionally, Alternative E applies a no surface occupancy (NSO) 
stipulation to oil and gas leasing proposed in riparian/wetland systems 
and aquatic habitats and a controlled surface use (CSU) stipulation 
within 300 feet of riparian and wetland areas. Alternative E increases, 
over existing management, conservation within Greater Sage-Grouse 
habitats.
    The Proposed RMP/Final EIS, Alternative E, includes ACEC 
designation for the following areas (all resource use limitations are 
subject to valid existing rights):
     Ash Creek Divide (7,921 acres), Bug Creek (3,837 acres), 
Hell Creek (19,373 acres), and Sand Arroyo (9,052 acres) ACECs would 
continue to be designated and managed as ACECs. Management actions 
proposed for these significant paleontological areas are: Mineral 
material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would 
be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not 
be allowed, rights-of-way (ROWs) would be allowed in the Hell Creek 
ACEC and avoided in the Ash Creek Divide, Bug Creek and Sand Arroyo 
ACECs, geothermal leasing would be closed, and management would be per 
visual resource management (VRM) Classes II through III.
     Big Sheep Mountain ACEC (363 acres) would continue to be 
designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this 
significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and 
permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an 
NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, 
geothermal leasing would be closed, the area would be managed as a ROW 
avoidance area, livestock grazing would be allowed, and management 
would be per VRM Class II.
     Hoe ACEC (145 acres) would continue to be designated and 
managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant 
cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be 
closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, 
geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed 
as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be closed, 19 acres 
of the ACEC would be closed to livestock grazing, and management would 
be per VRM Class II.
     Jordan Bison Kill ACEC (160 acres) would continue to be 
designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this 
significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and 
permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an 
NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area 
would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be 
closed, and management would be per VRM Class II.
     Powder River Depot ACEC (1,401 acres) would continue to be 
managed and designated as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this 
significant cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and 
permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an 
NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area 
would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be 
closed, livestock grazing would be excluded on 19 acres of the ACEC, 
and management would be per VRM Class I (Terry Badlands WSA overlap) 
and II (remainder of the ACEC).
     Seline ACEC (80 acres) would continue to be designated and 
managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant 
cultural resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be 
closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, 
geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed 
as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be closed, and 
management would be per VRM Class II.
     Battle Butte Battlefield ACEC would increase in size from 
121 acres to 320 acres and continue to be designated and managed as an 
ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural 
resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, 
oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, 
geophysical exploration would not be allowed, ROWs would be excluded, 
and management would be per VRM Class II.
     Reynolds Battlefield ACEC would increase in size from 324 
acres to 922 acres and would continue to be designated and managed as 
an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural 
resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, 
oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, 
geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area would be managed 
as a ROW avoidance area, and management would be per VRM Class II.

[[Page 30707]]

     Finger Buttes ACEC (1,520 acres) would continue to be 
designated and managed as an ACEC. Management actions proposed for this 
significant scenic area are: Mineral material sales and permits would 
be closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO 
stipulation, geophysical exploration would not be allowed, the area 
would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, geothermal leasing would be 
closed, and management would be per VRM Class II.
     Smoky Butte ACEC would decrease in size from 80 to 40 
acres and would continue to be designated and managed as an ACEC. 
Management actions proposed for this significant geologic area are: 
Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas leasing 
would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical exploration would 
be allowed, OHV use would be limited to existing roads and trails, ROWs 
would be allowed, and management would be per VRM Class III.
     Cedar Creek Battlefield (1,022 public surface acres) would 
be designated an ACEC. This significant battlefield would be managed to 
enhance and protect cultural resources. Management actions proposed for 
this area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil 
and gas leasing would be allowed with a NSO stipulation, geophysical 
exploration would be not be allowed, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use 
would be limited to existing roads and trails, the area would be 
managed as a ROW avoidance area, and management would be per VRM Class 
II.
     Flat Creek (339 acres) would be designated an ACEC. 
Management actions proposed for this significant paleontological area 
are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas 
leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical 
exploration would not be allowed, and the area would be managed as a 
ROW avoidance area. Flat Creek would be managed per VRM Class III.
     Powderville (9,518 acres) would be designated an ACEC. 
Management actions proposed for this significant paleontological area 
are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, oil and gas 
leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, geophysical 
exploration would not be allowed, OHV use would be limited to existing 
roads and trails, and the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance 
area. The Powderville area would be managed per VRM Classes II and III.
     Long Medicine Wheel (179 acres) would be designated an 
ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural 
resource site are: Mineral material sales and permits would be closed, 
oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, 
geophysical exploration would not be allowed, ROWs would be excluded, 
and management would be per VRM Class II.
     The Walstein area (1,519 acres) would be designated an 
ACEC. Management actions proposed for this significant cultural and 
paleontological area are: Mineral material sales and permits would be 
closed, oil and gas leasing would be allowed with an NSO stipulation, 
geophysical exploration would not be allowed, OHV use would be closed, 
the area would be managed as a ROW avoidance area, and management would 
be per VRM Class II.
    The Proposed RMP/Final EIS does not adopt the following nominated 
ACECs: Black-footed Ferret, Howrey Island, Piping Plover and Yonkee.
    The Miles City Field Office Proposed RMP/Final EIS is one of a 
total of 15 separate EISs that make up the BLM and Forest Service 
National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy. Greater-Sage Grouse 
habitat within the planning area consists of:
     Priority Habitat Management Area (PHMA)--Areas identified 
as having the highest conservation value for maintaining sustainable 
greater sage-grouse populations; include breeding, late brood-rearing, 
and winter concentration areas.
     General Habitat Management Area (GHMA)--Areas of seasonal 
or year-round habitat outside of PHMA.
    Alternative E supports management of greater sage-grouse seasonal 
habitats and maintaining habitat connectivity to achieve population 
objectives. Alternative E would limit or eliminate new surface 
disturbance in PHMA, while minimizing disturbance in GHMA.
    The BLM and Forest Service, via the Western Association of Fish and 
Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Management Zone Greater Sage-Grouse 
Conservation Team, will develop a Regional Mitigation Strategy to guide 
the application of the mitigation hierarchy to address impacts within 
that Zone. The Regional Mitigation Strategy should consider any State-
level greater sage-grouse mitigation guidance that is consistent with 
the requirements. The Regional Mitigation Strategy will be developed in 
a transparent manner, based on the best science available and 
standardized metrics. Instructions for filing a protest with the 
Director of the BLM regarding the Proposed RMP/Final EIS may be found 
in the ``Dear Reader'' letter of the Miles City Field Office Proposed 
RMP/Final EIS and at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. All protests must be in writing 
and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES 
section above. Emailed protests will not be accepted as valid protests 
unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either 
regular or overnight mail postmarked by the close of the protest 
period. Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the emailed 
protest as an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If 
you wish to provide the BLM with such advance notification, please 
direct emails to protest@blm.gov.
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be 
aware that your entire protest--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you may 
ask us in your protest to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10, 43 CFR 1610.2, 43 CFR 
1610.5.

Jamie E. Connell,
State Director, Montana/Dakotas.
[FR Doc. 2015-12997 Filed 5-28-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-DN-P